tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC November 8, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PST
themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," in an nbc news exclusive interview with chuck todd, president obama apologizes for making that promise that he couldn't keep, the much repeated vow, if you like your health care plan you can keep it. as the website fix faces an increasingly uphill battle, the president hinted at a possibility of what he called administration fixes to the health care law. we're going to dive into that and more with chuck todd's one-on-one interview with the president including how president obama ponded to the report that his 2012 campaign team considered taking joe biden off the ticket. >> when my back is up against the wall, he has my back. >> it's the economy. after a better than expected jobs report today, the president heads south to louisiana. we are going to take you there just moments from now he will be speaking at the port of new orleans.
can he shift the focus from the government shutdown and rocky health care rollout and gain momentum on his economic message. again, we're going to take you there live. >> good friday to you. i'm peter alexander. again today from my friend andrea mitchell, president obama going on the record in an nbc exclusive with an apology and empathy for americans kicked off their health care plans due to obama care requirements. our chief white house correspondent chuck todd pressed the president on the comment that has him in political hot water. if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. >> do you feel like you owe these folks an apology for misleading them, even if you didn't intentionally do it, they feel misled. you've seen the anger that's out
there. >> i regret very much that what we intended to do was just to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want them as opposed to because they are forced into it. we weren't as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes taking place. i want to do everything we can to make sure people are finding themselves in a good position, a better position than they were before this law happened. keep in mind that most of the folks who got these cancellation letters, they will be able to get better care at the same cost or cheaper in these new miles per hours. thissel have more choice, competition, part of a bigger pool. insurance companies will be hungry for their business. the majority of the folks will end up being better off, of course, because the bebz is not working right, they don't necessarily know it. even though it's a small
percentage of folks who may be disadvantaged, it means a lot to them and it's scary to them. i am sorry they are finding themselves in this situation based on insurances they got from me. >> joining us for our daily fix chris cillizza and white house reporter jackie collins. chris, i'll begin with you. the apology gets the headlines, a big part of the interview. the most notable point he made is the insist answer the administration is looking for what he calls administrative fixes. he says administrative not legislative fixes. how does that sit with congress? >> probably not that well. you've got democrats and republicans looking for ways to make legislative fixes. there's a lot of agitation. we saw this. many of the vulnerable democrats in 2014 in places like
louisiana, north carolina, alaska, arkansas. these are people who need to provide distance from obama care from the president up at the white house this week. they want to show they are doing things to try to make this bill work better. what they don't want to do is in some ways what the administration is advising. just wait, by the end of the month the website will be better, things moving in the right direction. they don't want to wait all that time. >> jackie, did the white house accomplish what it needed to with this interview? november 30th is the date we're all going to be focused on. they can't afford to mess that up. >> exactly. what they need to do is get the website working adequately. and i think this apology from the president, and it follows one from joe biden and kathleen sebelius and miss tavenner, the head of the centers for medicare and medicaid. so there have been a lot of apologies. the one that needed to come was the president's politically, at
least. on the legislation, an administrative fix is really what they need to get here. democrats, even those with legislation would be happy to have this taken care of administrative administratively. they have done what they needed to do. told constituents we heard you, legislation, take credit for pressuring the president himself to come and do something about it. it was a statement he made in four or five years ago that didn't have to be made, could have been couched. at the time seemed like the right thing to do because memories were long of the clinton's attempt to reform health hurns and people thought they would lose policies. >> jackie you made news, piece addressing administration to cover care for mental health and adick the same way they do medical and physical illnesses. can you give us a sense of the siblgts here, just how important it is. it relates and goes back to the gun violence we've had in this
country. >> that's right. it was under way even before the newtown shootings made the president and vice president biden come out with their list of 23 ideas for executive actions that curb gun violence and this being the last one of ideas on their list. this was under way because five years ago in 2008 there was legislation passed, long in the works, to provide parity between mental health and substance abuse treatments and those for medical and southern cal treatments. and it actually goes back much farther than that to the mid-90s. each tep of the way there was another step taken. once the law in 2008 passed, there was still a law that needed to be decided, how do you define parity in terms of visits and costs. these rules are supposed to take care of that. >> chris, i want to get back to more of the conversation chuck had with the president.
the president responded to what was the flashies exert double down, poll testing of biden hillary swap, here is that sound bite. >> did you really not know the campaign was researching the idea of swapping hillary clinton for joe biden. >> chuck, again, the problem we have and this goes back to the earlier question you asked. i'm in charge of 2 million people in the federal government. that was true, by the way, even when i was running for president. so people do all kinds of stuff. some of it they clear with me. sometimes they are trying to figure things out, particularly on the political side. i'm not somebody that delves into polling and all that data. here is the one thing i would say for certain, if they would ask me i would say there's no way i'm not running again with joe biden.
i genuinely believe he has been one of the best vice presidents in our history. he also happens to be a friend. he also happens to be one of my most important advisers on domestic and foreign policy. i like him. when my back is up against the wall, he has my back. >> chris, that's maybe the most the president has said about biden in the course of his five years as president. >> i think, look, i think the president knew this would come up in an interview with chuck and was ready for it. if joe biden does run for president, the i believe joe biden was one of the greatest vice presidents in history will go down as -- i assure you will hear again, peter. he's right. i'm sure he didn't hear about it. the truth of the matter is, they do do this testing. it does undercut biden. the president was trying to say if this got to me, i would never
prove it. biden is great. he needed it. >> thanks. have a great weekend. we'll take you to the president's remarks in new orleans live when they happen. quickly to a topic americans are focused on the bullying investigation rocking nfl. the lawyer for miami dolphins player jonathan martin, the player who left the team after the alleged bullying released a statement last night making a new allegation about a physical attack he said he endured. joining me mike florio. thanks for your help. here is part of the statement on screen. jonathan martin's toughness is not at issue. the issue is his treatment by teammates. jonathan endured harassment that went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing. very quickly today you posted a statement or posted an article on your site today saying this may have been an effort by martin's team to help get him released from the team.
why do you think that? >> well, because it was clear wednesday the dolphins would welcome incognito back to the team, didn't get the same from john nan martin, a lot of criticism about him. the way i interpret the full content of his statement, look, if this bridge is burned, lets go ahead and burn it and move on. they haven't made that request yet. i could see that coming as part of a global resolution of all issues, dolphins let jonathan martin go and he goes and joins another team. >> has the team or dolphins players respond, do you know? >> no. i've asked them for comment. i've asked them for comment on various things this week. they are not saying anything in deference to the ongoing nfl investigation. the dolphins have kept quiet about a lot of decisions and conduct. they continue to say nothing.
>> this is really -- martin's attorney didn't name names publicly. almost and to be a warning shot. if dolphins keep questioning martin in the press, do this that those other names could be revealed. it was significant he used the word teammates plural. it wasn't just about richie incognito here. >> that's right. the names aren't out there publicly. privately when jonathan martin meets with ted wells who will be conducting nfl's outside investigation, those names are going to come out. even though the names aren't out publicly now, the nfl will know about them. these players will have to answer to these allegations. it's just more and more distraction for a team that still has eight football games to play this season. >> including monday night. this has been bad week for nfl, celebrated hamer tony dorset diagnosed with degenerative brain disease linked to concussions. he's considered suicide. you have the dolphins bullying story now.
is the nfl teflon? does it stick at some point or have they handled this well enough. >> the nfl handled it well enough. seems there's always some sort of controversy, some sort of issue. i think we've gotten numb to it. until it spills over to viewing habit and customer interest in the sport, it's not going to matter. the nfl continues to endure through all of these ups and downs and twists and turns. it's been described to me the nfl is the ultimate reality show, some developments are subplots in what is the reality show. >> one of the biggest sound bites comes from former coach tony dunkee, one of your colleagues, who said he was involved in the decision-making process to pass on richie incognito. he's the one accused of bullying in the dolphins locker room. that was striking to hear someone acknowledge that, he passed because he didn't know richie but knew of richie incognito's past history. did other teams have that same
experience? >> i'm sure they did. this is not uncommon. every year when you're talking about hundreds of players coming out into the draft, teams will flag certain players for character reasons. that's how tony explained it earlier this week on dan patrick's show. incognito was in the do not draft because of character category. every team has guys they take off the draft board, even if it's a guy good enough to be a first-round pick you don't want him anywhere near your team because of character issues. there's character issues that arise. these were in college, dogged throughout his nfl career now on the radar screen as a villain, more and more coming out about richie incognito. >> so many people paying attention dolphins teammates expressing unwavering support for incognito in all of this. is this possibly a misinterpretation? is it possibly -- help us better understand how that comes to be right now. a lot of those dolphins could be
other names going forward, seems the potential also exists other jonathan martins could come forward in other locker rooms. >> that's one of the important points going forward. does the nfl explore whether or not this is a broader cultural issue. the problem is if you do that and you find out that this isn't an isolated incident, isn't an aberration, nfl suffers a more serious pr problem. the report that's going to come from the investigation conducted by ted wells is going to be made public. i don't think the nfl wants the rest of us to know how widespread this problem is, if it's widespread. i think it will be characterized at something that only happened in miami. we're going to see changes that will affect every locker room. the hope it trickles down to other levels of football and other sports that tolerated hazing too long. >> we'll be watching you monday night. thanks very much. appreciate your time today. >> thank you, peter. good to talk to you.
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easy. the focus is on one of the positives this administration is directing our eyes to, which is the economic growth taking place lately. luke russert now live in new orleans on assignment. luke, give us a sense of what the president is hoping to accomplish with these remarks really focused on modernizing infrastructure, helping boost the economy. >> yeah, good afternoon, peter. it's fun being in new orleans doing your job. it's nice to be out in the sunshine a little bit. it's a chamber of commerce day in louisiana. the president is at the port, the busiest port in the united states, one of the busiest ports in the world really trying to make the argument infrastructure spending is good for the united states economy overall. every one dollar invested in the port of new orleans brings back a return close to $90. that will be a message today. trying to build on the idea democrats spoke a lot about about nation building here at home. the president comes down here on the heels of a very, very interesting interview with our own chuck todd essentially apologizing to americans for misleading them regarding the
health care law. a little pep in his step because of the new job numbers coming out, 204,000 especially after the shutdown and threat of economic default. that's better than some folks thought. interesting political things going on here, eric cantor, house majority leader sent off a strongly worded statements for the president saying it was gutsy for him to come here after department of justice stewing louisiana and new orleans over a school choice program they have which they say hurts desegregation cause. a lot of folks say it helps. interesting to see majority leader. mary landrieu flew down "air force one." tough re-election fight. will not appear at the event. quite a spirited crowd. you have a lot of the presidented supporters very much excited to be here. and governor bobby jindal greeting the president at the airport. a little bipartisanship when it
comes to economic output in the port of new orleans that's something republicans and democrats locally can agree on. as far as infrastructure spending, peter, that's a tough sell. house republicans see it as too much spending. infrastructure bill $10 billion, that went nowhere. hard to see anything happening. >> luke, we'll hand it over to the president when he starts. mary landrieu, that's important, called the pivot. talk about something you don't want to talk about health care right now you start talking about something else. for mary landrieu an interesting situation the way she interacts with the president. she's among bipartisan group of senators calling for an extension to the enrollment deadline, woes with healthcare.gov. she's not president. her brother, mayor of new orleans, mitch landrieu will be there now, this is trying to redirect attention. >> no doubt.
mitch landrieu very popular, republicans and democrats he was here. his sister rode down on the plane. she's not here. we can speculate why, scheduling conflicts, pre-existing scheduling things they have to cocoa, always a fascinating answer. read into that what you will. some say she doesn't want to appear on the stage after the president apologized. all these ads from the rcc, republican scene torl committee trying to push out saying, hey, every democrat who voted for this law, they should apologize, t too. especially red states dealing with aftershocks of very unpopular part of the health care law. i'll say this, peter, talking about the pivot going into the weekend. this is where the president feels strongest, the idea we need to rebuild ports like this, easy money. something better for the entire
economy. that's a message they feel speaks to the fast majority of americans. perhaps coupled with these decent employment numbers for this month, maybe we don't talk so much about chuck todd's interview but it was a great interview. >> chuck -- i just called you chuck. we'll call you luke for the moment, stick with your real name. you cover the hill. i want to get a better understanding what we're hearing from members of congress, specifically house republicans about the president's apology. the white house obviously trying to speak directly to individuals affected by those cancellation letters, people who thought they would be able to keep their plan but now finding they may not be able to keep the plan. he said he wants to created a -- administrative fixes. what are house republicans saying about that right now? >> house republicans are giddy. they are giddy because they
believe they can now for the third election in a row use health care law as ammunition against democrats. they all believe in 2010 the reason why they were able to win 63 seats was because of unpopularity of the health care law because people of the united states did not understand it. they believe that will continue. look for them to have more hearings into every single -- all the minutiae sounding how this rollout was botched so poorly. look for how low they can go. quite frankly, they don't want to talk about the shuttown, debt limit, that's going to come back january 15th, come back in march. up until then heading into christmas, it will be health care, health care, health care, hearing, hearing, hearing, everything they can possibly do to put as much mud on the democrat's tires in regard to the law. it will interesting to see mp looking into the results of virginia, ken cuccinelli, one of
the reasons why it was more tight with mcauliffe than a lot of folks thought was because of the health care law. not necessarily depending how you read the polling. will the health care law stick? maybe not nationwide. swing districts needed to take back the house, still a hail mary in a good year. it probably sticks and hurts a lot. >> over the course of several week, next week we get those enrollment numbers to date, number of people signed up for affordable care act's mandate, individual mandate. right now we know it's not that good. we hear them talk about kathleen sebelius a lot going forward. on "air force one" we heard from the deputy press secretary who says the president has, quote, nothing -- who said nothing changed and the president's full confidence in secretary sebelius' ability. here is what the president had to say himself on the topic.
>> i think kathleen sebelius under tremendously difficult circumstances over the last four years has done a great job setting up the insurance market. >> still the right person to do it? >> ultimately the buck stops with me. i'm the president. this is my team. if it's not working, it's my job to get it fixed. >> the president's remarks in his conversation with chuck todd. again, looking at the left side of the screen, port of new orleans. an event scheduled to take place about 15 minutes earlier. it's a little bit delayed as these things happen to be right now. luke, there's a lot on the president's plate going forward. he's doing to raise a little money for 2014 helping dscc, democratic senatorial campaigns. the priority for this white house really acknowledging they may face a closing window to get things done is to really help their supporters to try to take over both houses of congress, isn't it, or certainly hold onto
the senate where they can finally push through some legislation before the end of the term. >> sure. the president is heading to miami after this event in the port of new orleans and he'll be raising funds there. they would like nothing more than to win the house back, which some thought after the shutdown was possible. it certainly could happen. it's difficult considering gerrymandering after elections. keeping the senate is a priority. senators like mary landrieu from louisiana have to be elected. red state democrats have to be elected in order for it to occur. you'll see a huge fundraising push. it's the last chance in terms of an election the president can influence who he'll be working with and trying to further his legislative goals. what i'll be struck by, though, peter as we move forward here is there's not for the first time in a few years, we don't have these deadlines coming right around thanksgiving, right around christmas.
there's sort of this breathing period. how does he come back in 2014 in a midterm election year in what is the strategy? what does plouffe cook up to put republicans on the defense to make it look to the overall general public they are obstructionist like the shutdown, around thattian 15th date. i will say that is when the 2014 midterms start that january 15th government funding day. >> luke, we'll let you grab a swig of water real quick as we hold on and wait for the president to speak at the port of new orleans. we'll take a quick break. when he speaks we'll take that live. vice president joe biden had a hard time tracking the right marty walsh to congratulate the newly elected mayor. as we first reported he called a different marty walsh by accident. now we're learning he actually dialed two wrong numbers. here is the voicemail another marty walsh in boston received
from your vice president. >> mr. mayor, congratulations. marty, it's joe biden. nice to see you win and nice to see labor win. anything i can do to help you from the white house in terms of your needs for boston, holler, man. congratulations. enjoy the night. >> bottom line here, if your name is marty walsh, check your voicemail. there are seniors who have left hundreds of dollars of savings
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♪ no two people have the same financial goals. pnc works with you to understand yours and help plan for your retirement. visit a branch or call now for your personal retirement review. gorgeous day on the port of new orleans. on the left side of your screen you see the president of the united states beginning his remarks so we will take you there live. >> great to be here in new orleans. this is what passes for winter in new orleans. folks got folks on and all that. come on, you need to go to chicago to know what it's like to be cold.
it is great to be here. it is especially happy for my staff. they live coming to new orleans. we did schedule the event early because i figure there's a limit to how much trouble they could get into. they can't get over to bourbon street fast enough if we did a daytime event. i know that there probably a couple of my staff that are lsu fans. i wouldn't mind staying for the game tomorrow night. i know we've got the president here. i just saw him a minute ago and i wished him all the best. i want to acknowledge a couple of people here. you've got your governor, bobby jindal is here. we've got secretary of transportation anthony fox who is here. we have cedric richmond, your
outstanding congressman. >> cedric brought down a bunch of colleagues from congressional caucus for important work they are doing. not that they are going to enjoy themselves at all that they are here. we are thrilled to see them here. you have one of the best mayors in the country in mitch landr u landrieu. i just flew down with your senator who by coincidence has the same name, mary landrieu. she's traveling around the state today and doing unbelievable work on behalf of the people of louisiana. i just want to say nobody is a tougher advocate on behalf of the working people of louisiana than mary landrieu.
we're very, very producud of th work she does. finally, i want to thank gary le grange, keith and chris, they showed me around the port. this is one of the -- by the way, anybody who had a seat, feel free. i notice a few folks standing up. if you don't have a seat, keep on standing. i don't want you hurting yourself. this is one of the busiest port complexes in the entire world. you move millions of tons of steel and chemical and fuel and food every single year. i found out you also handle a lot of the country's coffee, which means you're responsible for keeping the white house awake at all times. got some coffee folks there. in so many ways this port is
representative of what ports all around the country do, they help to keep our economy going, moving products, moving people, making sure businesses are working. you've got corn and wheat from my home state of illinois down the river ending up here and going all around the world. it's part of the reason we've been able to increase exports so rapidly, we've got some of the best natural resources and waterways and facilities in the world. growing economies, creating jobs, helping middle class families regain a sense of stability and security so they can find good jobs and make sure their kids are doing better than they did. that's what america is all about. for too many people that sense you can make it here if you try, that sense has been slipping away. my driving focus has been to
restore that sense of security. it should be washington's focus regardless of party. that's what everybody in washington should be thinking about every day. so today i want to just offer a couple of ideas about what we could do right now together that would help our economy. right now. the good news is over the past 44 months, our businesses have created 7.8 million new jobs since i took office. we cut the deficits in half. that's right. by the way, you wouldn't know this sometimes listening to folks on tv but the deficits are going down, not going up. they have been cut in half. and they keep going down. over the past three years, health care costs have risen at the slowest pace on record. exports are up. the housing market is up.
the american auto industry is roaring back. so we've got a lot of good things to build on. but we've got a lot more work to do. what we should be doing is stop doing things that undermine businesses and economy over the past few years. this constant cycle of manufactured crisis and self-inflicted wounds coming out of washington. for example, we learned yesterday that over the summer our economy grew at its fastest pace in a year. that's the good news. the bad news is the very day the economic quarter ended, some folks in washington decided to shut down the government and threaten to default on america's obligations for the first time in more than 200 years. it's like the gears of our economy, every time they are just about to take off, suddenly
somebody taps the brakes and says not so fast. now, our businesses are resilient. we've got great workers. so as a consequence, we added about 200,000 new jobs last month. but there's no question that the shutdown harmed our jobs market. the unemployment rate still ticked up. we don't yet know all the data for this final quarter of the year, but it could be down because of what happened in washington. now, that makes no sense. these self-inflicted wounds don't have to happen. they should not happen again. we should not be injuring ourselves every month, we should be investing in ourselves. we should be building not tearing things down. rather than refighting the same old battles again and again and again, we should be fighting to make sure everybody who works hard in america and hard right here in new orleans, they have a chance to get ahead.
that's what we should be focused on. which brings me to one of the reasons i'm here at this port. one of the things we should be focused on is helping more businesses sell more products to the rece of the world. the only way those products get out is through facilities like this. right now exports are one of the brightest spots in our economy. thanks in part to new trade deals we signed with panama, columbia, south korea, we now export more goods and services than ever before. that means jobs right here in the united states of america. last year every $1 billion in exports supports nearly 5,000 jobs including jobs right here at this port. so we're working on new trade deals that will mean more jobs for our workers and more business for ports like this one. by the way, when i travel around the world, i'm out there selling. i'll go anywhere in the world to
make sure those products stamped with those words "made in america" we can open up those markets and sell them anywhere. so helping american businesses grow, creating more jobs, these are not democratic or republican priorities, they are priorities that everybody, regardless of party, should be able to get behind. that's why in addition to working with congress to grow our exports, i've put forward additional ideas where i believe democrats and republicans can join together to make progress right now. number one, congress needs to pass a farm bill that helps rural communities grow and protects vulnerable americans. for decades congress found a way to compromise and pass farm bills without fuss. for some reason now congress can't get that done. this is not something that just benefits farmers.
ports like this one depend on all the production coming down the mississippi. so lets do the right thing. pass a farm bill, start selling more products. that's more business for this port and that means more jobs right here. >> number two. we should fix our broken immigration system. this would be good for our national security, but it would also be good for our economic security. over the next two decades, it would grow our economy by $1.4 trillion. should shrink our deficits by nearly a trillion dollars. this should not be a partisan issue. president bush proposed broad outlines of comprehensive immigration reform almost a decade ago. when i was a senate, i joined 23 of my republican colleagues to back those reforms. this year the senate has already
passed a bill with broad bipartisan support. so all we're doing now is waiting for the house to act. i don't know what the hold up is but if there's a good reason not to do it, i haven't heard it. there's no reason both parties can't come together, get this done this year. get it done this year. number three, democrats and republicans should work together on a responsible budget that sets america on a stronger course for the future. we shouldn't get caught up in the same old fights. and we shouldn't just cut things for the sake of cutting things. remember, i want to remind you what's happening in the deficits, they are going down, shrinking, falling faster than they have in 60 years. so what we have to do now is do what america has always done, make some wise investments in our people and in our country
that will help us grow over the long-term. we should close what'sful tax loopholes that don't grow jobs, the economy and invest money in things that do create jobs and grow the economy. one of the things is building new roads and bridges and schools and ports. that creates jobs. it puts people to work during the construction phase and infrastructure for our economy to succeed going forward. educating our kids, training our workers so they are prepared for the global economy. that helps us grow. we should be investing in that. mayor landrieu has been doing a great job improving education here in new orleans. investing in science and research and technology that keeps our businesses, our military at cutting edge. that's the kind of investment we should be making. think about our infrastructure.
in today's global economy businesses are going to take root and grow wherever there's the most reliable transportation networks. they can go anywhere. china is investing a lot in infrastructure. europe is investing a lot in infrastructure. brazil is investing a whole lot in infrastructure. what are we doing? we are doing some good things locally here. the state and city are trying to do some work. but nationally we're falling behind. we're relying on old stuff. i don't think we should have just old stuff. we should have some new stuff that is going to help us grow and keep pace with global competition. rebuilding our transportation and communications networks is one of the fastest ways to create good jobs. consider that just a couple years from now we're going to have new super tankers coming through the panama canal.
these tankers can hold three times as much cargo as today's. if a port can't handle those super tankers, they will go load and unload cargo somewhere else. so there's work that we can start doing in terms of dredging and making the passage ways deeper, which means super tankers can have more stuff on them, which means they can unload and load more stuff, which makes this port more competitive. so why wouldn't we put people to work upgrading them? why wouldn't we do that? it's not just our ports either. one in nine of our bridges is rated structurally deficient. more than 40% of our major highways are congested. so is our airspace. everybody who is sitting on a tarmac wondering why it is you're not taking off and
getting aggravated when you go fly someplace, part of the reason is we've got this antiquated air traffic control system. we need the next generation air traffic control system. it would reduce time, travel, reduces pollution in the sky. we know how to do it. we just haven't done it. that shouldn't be a democratic or republican issue. that's just smart to go ahead and do it. something that people across the political spectrum should be able to agree on. now, here is the thing. all these opportunities and challenges, they are not going to magically fix themselves. we've got to do it. anybody who says we can't afford to pay for these things needs to realize we're already paying for them. i'll give you an example. a lot of trucking companies reroute to avoid traffic and unsafe bridges. they are going longer than they
need to. that costs them money. so you're paying for it. those costs then get passed on to consumers. it means companies aren't making as much of a profit and maybe they have got fewer employees. directly or indirectly we're paying for it. the longer we delay, the more we'll pay. the sooner we take care of business, the better. i know one thing members of congress want it's smart infrastructure projects that create good jobs in their district. that's why last year i took the step without congress to speed up permitting like upgrading our ports. cut through the red tape. get it done faster. this year rebuilding our infrastructure could be part of a bipartisan budget deal. a couple of months ago i put forward an idea to try to break through some of the arguments, a grand bargain for middle class jobs. what i said was we'll simplify
corporate tax code, close wasteful tax loopholes, end incentives to ship jobs overseas, lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs here in the united states and use so the money we save by switching to smarter tax system to create good construction jobs building things our businesses need here in america. it's a pretty sensible deal. >> if we took that step, we could modernize our air traffic control system and modernize our power grids and pipelines to survive storms. modernize our schools to prepare our kids for jobs in the future. and modernize our ports. they can accommodate the new ships. the point is rebuilding infrastructure or educating our kids, funding base being research, they are not partisan issues. they are american issues. there used to be a broad consensus that these things were important to our economy. we've got to get back to that mindset and move forward on
these things together. doesn't mean there aren't going to be disagreements on a whole bunch of stuff. let's work on the things we agree on. i'm going to make one last point. one area where we haven't made much bipartisan progress, at least not as much as i'd like is fixing our broken health care system. [ applause ] i took up this cause knowing it was hard. there was a reason why no other president had done it. to make sure every american has access to quality affordable health care and make sure that no american ever again has to fear one illness is going to bankrupt them. and the work we've already done has resulteded in over the past three years health care costs rising at the slowest pace on record. growing about one third of the rate they were a decade ago. we want those trends to
continue. now, we've had this problem with the website. i'm not happy about that. we're working overtime to make sure that it gets fixed because right now we put in place a system where people can get affordable health care plans. and i promise you, nobody has been more frustrated. i wanted to go in and fix it myself but i don't write code so -- but every american with a preexisting condition waiting for the day they can be covered like everybody else, for folks who couldn't afford to buy their own insurance because they don't get it on the job, we're going to fix the website because the insurance plans are there, they are good and millions of mernsz are finding thil gain better coverage and it's the right thing to do. [ applause ] >> i know health care is
controversial so there's only going to be so much support we get on that on a bipartisan basis. until it's working really well then they'll stop calling it obama care. they're going to call it something else. one thing, i was talking to your mayor and governor about, a separate issue, one of the things that the affordable care act does is allow states to expand medicaid to cover more citizens. and here in louisiana, here in louisiana, that benefit about 265,000 people. already you've seen states, arkansas is covered, taken this up and covering almost 14% of their uninsured. republican governors and states like ohio and nevada and arizona, they are doing it too. oregon, already reduced -- has already reduced the number of
uninsured by 10%. and you know, some of these folks oppose obama care but did support helping their citizens who can't get coverage. so we want to work with everybody, mayor, governor, insurance -- whoever it is that wans wants to work with us here in louisiana to make sure even if you don't support the overall plan, let's at least go ahead and make sure that the folks who don't have health insurance, let's make sure we do that. it's the right thing to do. [ applause ] >> you know, and one of the reasons to do it is, i said this before, sometimes people don't fully appreciate it, we already pay for the health care people who don't have health insurance,
we pay for the most expensive version, when they go to the emergency room. what happens is the hospitals have to take them, sick folk. they are not going to leave them on the streets. but people who are sick they wait until the very last minute and it's much more expensive to treat them. hospitals have to figure out how to get the money back, which means they jack up costs for everybody who does have health insurance. by about $1,000 per family, so as a consequence, what happens is, you're already paying a hidden tax for a broken health care system. community hospitals struggle to care for the uninsured who can't pay their bills when they get sick. it's the right thing to do for the health of our economies as a whole. it is a practical, pragmatic reason to do it. it has nothing to do with politics or ideology. the more states that are working together, democrats and republicans, the better off we're going to be. bottom line is, new orleans, we
can work together to do these things because we've done them before. we did not become the greatest nation on earth just by chance or by accident. we had some advantages, really nice real estate here in the united states. but what we also had were people who despite their differences and we come from everywhere and look different and have different traditions, we understand that this country works best when we're working together. and we decided to do what was necessary for our businesses and our families to succeed and if we did it in the past, we can do it again. let's make it easier for more businesses to expand and grow and sell more goods made in america than the rest of the world. let's make sure we have the best ports and roads and bridges and schools and our young people are getting a great education. let's give everybody a chance to get ahead, not just a few of the top, but everybody. because if we do that -- [ applause ]
if we help our business grow and communities thrive and children reach higher, then the economy is going to grow faster. we'll rebuild our middle class, stronger, the american dream will being real and achievable, not just for a few but for everybody. not just for today but decades to come. that's what we're fighting for and that's what you're all about here at this port here in new orleans. i'm looking forward to working with you to make sure we keep that up. thank you. god bless you. >> president obama at the port of new orleans just wrapping up a speech there. spent the better portion of that speech talking about the need to spend on infrastructure projects in this country, ports and roads and bridges, a familiar theme there. we heard from the president. but the president at the end of that speech pivoting to spend
more time talking about obama care and the rollout of obama care, the challenges of that rollout as well. luke russert traveling with the president there in new orleans, want to bring him in. luke, let's talk about the president's speech there. what else struck you? >> reporter: well, craig, what was fascinating was that this speech was billed as one that was going to be a pivot, he wanted to talk about the economy. he wanted to talk about infrastructure and wanted to sort of what we thought was move away from talking about the health care law, which has been politically unpopular recently because of that -- you got it, you like it, you keep it promise back in 2010 which was not necessarily kept. as we learned from our interview with chalk todd yesterday. then unexpectantly after touting more money put into ports like ports of new orleans, he issued a full throated defense of the health care law using talk points similar to 2010. the reason it needs to exist, we
all pay more when folks go to the emergency room. then saying he would have loved to fix the website himself, joking he didn't know code. which got laughs here in the audience. then said he would really move to try to fix the website because there's a lot of good insurance plans out there for a lot of americans. it's interesting though, we, what is the media going to pick up on? the health care stuff. all of this about passing a farm bill, immigration, that will get washed out and it will be the president again his defense of the health care law which republicans will jump on and continue the conversation in the next week. >> no accident there. it seems as if the president has perhaps changed his strategy, luke. again, you reference the interview with chuck todd last night and again today, making sure that the last thing folks in that audience and last thing all of us heard as well before we start the weekend the last thing we heard was that as you put it, a full throated defense of what we call now obama care
and the president also joking if and when it becomes successful, folks on the other side are going to be calling it by another name. it seems as if we saw a real deliberate shift in strategy, no? >> reporter: yeah, i think what we're seeing is that -- what came out of chuck's interview yesterday, craig, and a lot of today was this whole idea of an apology, that the president was apologizing for the health care law. that's the way the gop was spinning it. by coming out and having the full throated defense by saying this is a good law and we still very much believe in it and need, here are the benefits of it and putting that forward, it kind of shifts the narrative from the apology for the law which is being spun if you didn't do that outright, apologized for the folks with individuals policies who got -- weren't able to keep them. it's a strategy that is intentional and being done to control the narrative better into the weekend.